Saga of the Northlands
Downtime
Whenever a character is in a relatively safe location and not otherwise occupied, he can spend this downtime to work at an occupation, train his proficiencies, craft items, or perform other activities beneficial to himself or his clan.
Spending Downtime
Downtime actions all have durations measured in days (these are 8-hour workdays, not full 24-hour days). A character can work towards the completion of a single downtime action per day without difficulty, spending 8 hours on that and filling his other 16 hours of the day as he pleases.
If a character skips one or more days while working on a downtime action (such as if he is working on forging a sword for a few days but then has to leave the settlement suddenly for some reason), some actions can be put “on hold” until his return while some actions cannot, as given in their descriptions; in the latter case, each day he does not work on the downtime action means one day of lost progress, until he has to completely start over. If he is interrupted for a brief period (no more than 1 hour at a time), he can attempt a Concentration check against DC 20 to resume where he left off, but any longer interruptions mean the loss of that day’s progress.
If a character so desires, he can work on two different downtime actions at once, spending one watch per day on each one and taking twice as long to complete each. He can also simply work on a single action for only one watch per day, taking twice as long to complete it; doing this is a good way for characters exploring the wilderness to not interrupt downtime actions started back in their settlement, or to get some extra training in on an expedition.
Bonuses
Some downtime actions require checks, such as skill checks or the checks to increase one’s pace. In such a case, to benefit from a bonus to those checks, a character must be subject to the bonus for at least half of his workday; a priest can’t simply cast a round/level skill enhancement spell to enhance a character’s Craft check at the very end of his second watch to give him a bonus to determining construction progress, for example, as most of the work was done before. If a character is working at a different pace, the requirement changes accordingly: working smarter requires him to benefit from a bonus for half a watch, working a third watch requires him to benefit from it for one and a half watches, and so forth.
Working Harder
If a character wishes to work more than two watches per day, he may attempt to do so by making an Endurance check at the start of each additional watch he wishes to work; the DC is equal to 5 plus 5 times the number of watches he has already worked that day (so 15 to work for a third watch, 20 to work for a fourth, and so on); if this check fails, he is too tired to continue making meaningful progress and must stop taking downtime actions until he has had a full night’s rest. If he succeeds, he makes proportional additional progress: one and a half days’ work for working 12 hours, two days’ work for working 16 hours, and so forth.
Working Smarter
A character can also attempt to work smarter, not harder, and complete a downtime action faster than normal. After working for one watch, he may attempt an Intelligence check against DC 10 to complete two watches’ worth of work; success means he completes that work successfully, failure by less than 5 means he does not finish early but can continue working for the remainder of the day to complete it, and failure by 5 or more means that watch’s progress is lost. He can attempt to work multiple watches in succession in this way, but the DC of the Intelligence check increases by +3 each time.
Occupation downtime actions to generate Consumables funds cannot be worked smarter, because the rate at which they can be worked is limited by outside factors; goats only produce so much milk per day, plants can only be tended for so much time per day, and so forth. They can still be worked harder, however
Starting at 7th level, a character can increase the DC for working smarter by +2 to complete three watches’ worth of work in one watch, and starting at 11th level a character can increase the DC for working smarter by +4 to complete four watches’ worth of work in one watch.
Working Smarter and Harder
Working both smarter and harder requires both sets of checks: working smarter and harder for 4 watches, for instance, requires a DC 10 Int check for the first watch, a DC 13 Int check for the second, a DC 16 Int check and DC 15 Endurance check for the third, and a DC 19 Int check and DC 20 Endurance check for the fourth.
The simplest way to handle working smarter and harder on pure-downtime days is to determine the maximum Int and Endurance DCs you can make while taking 10 and work that many watches at that difficulty. The maximum DCs and number of effective days for working smarter and harder for a given number of watches are given in the tables below for easy reference. Find the maximum DCs your character can make on the first table, and cross-reference that row on the second table to determine the effective time worked.
Watches | Smarter/Harder? | Normal Pace | Work Smarter (x2) | Work Smarter (x3, min 7th) | Work Smarter (x4, min 11th) |
1 | 1 base | — | — | — | — |
1 | 1 smart | — | Int DC 10 | Int DC 12 | Int DC 14 |
2 | 2 base | — | — | — | — |
2 | 1 smart, 1 normal | — | Int DC 10 | Int DC 12 | Int DC 14 |
2 | 2 smart | — | Int DC 13 | Int DC 15 | Int DC 17 |
3 | 2 base, 1 hard | Endurance DC 15 | — | — | — |
3 | 1 smart, 1 base, 1 hard | — | Int DC 10, Endurance DC 15 | Int DC 12, Endurance DC 15 | Int DC 14, Endurance DC 15 |
3 | 2 smart, 1 hard | — | Int DC 13, Endurance DC 15 | Int DC 15, Endurance DC 15 | Int DC 17, Endurance DC 15 |
3 | 2 smart, 1 smart/hard | — | Int DC 16, Endurance DC 15 | Int DC 18, Endurance DC 15 | Int DC 20, Endurance DC 15 |
4 | 2 base, 2 hard | Endurance DC 20 | — | — | — |
4 | 1 smart, 1 base, 2 hard | — | Int DC 10, Endurance DC 20 | Int DC 12, Endurance DC 20 | Int DC 14, Endurance DC 20 |
4 | 2 smart, 2 hard | — | Int DC 13, Endurance DC 20 | Int DC 15, Endurance DC 20 | Int DC 17, Endurance DC 20 |
4 | 2 smart, 1 smart/hard, 1 hard | — | Int DC 16, Endurance DC 20 | Int DC 18, Endurance DC 20 | Int DC 20, Endurance DC 20 |
4 | 2 smart, 2 smart/hard | — | Int DC 19, Endurance DC 20 | Int DC 21, Endurance DC 20 | Int DC 23, Endurance DC 20 |
5 | 2 base, 3 hard | Endurance DC 25 | — | — | — |
5 | 1 base, 1 smart, 3 hard | — | Int DC 10, Endurance DC 25 | Int DC 12, Endurance DC 25 | Int DC 14, Endurance DC 25 |
5 | 2 smart, 3 hard | — | Int DC 13, Endurance DC 25 | Int DC 15, Endurance DC 25 | Int DC 17, Endurance DC 25 |
5 | 2 smart, 1 smart/hard, 2 hard | — | Int DC 16, Endurance DC 25 | Int DC 18, Endurance DC 25 | Int DC 20, Endurance DC 25 |
5 | 2 smart, 2 smart/hard, 1 hard | — | Int DC 19, Endurance DC 25 | Int DC 21, Endurance DC 25 | Int DC 23, Endurance DC 25 |
5 | 2 smart, 3 smart/hard | — | Int DC 22, Endurance DC 25 | Int DC 24, Endurance DC 25 | Int DC 26, Endurance DC 25 |
6 | 2 base, 4 hard | Endurance DC 30 | — | — | — |
6 | 1 base, 1 smart, 4 hard | — | Int DC 10, Endurance DC 30 | Int DC 12, Endurance DC 25 | Int DC 14, Endurance DC 30 |
6 | 2 smart, 4 hard | — | Int DC 13, Endurance DC 30 | Int DC 15, Endurance DC 30 | Int DC 17, Endurance DC 30 |
6 | 2 smart, 1 smart/hard, 3 hard | — | Int DC 16, Endurance DC 30 | Int DC 18, Endurance DC 30 | Int DC 20, Endurance DC 30 |
6 | 2 smart, 2 smart/hard, 2 hard | — | Int DC 19, Endurance DC 30 | Int DC 21, Endurance DC 30 | Int DC 23, Endurance DC 30 |
6 | 2 smart, 3 smart/hard, 1 hard | — | Int DC 22, Endurance DC 30 | Int DC 24, Endurance DC 30 | Int DC 26, Endurance DC 30 |
6 | 2 smart, 4 smart/hard | — | Int DC 25, Endurance DC 30 | Int DC 27, Endurance DC 30 | Int DC 29, Endurance DC 30 |
Watches Worked | Normal Pace | Work Smarter (x2) | Work Smarter (x3, min 7th) | Work Smarter (x4, min 11th) | |
1 | 1 base | 0.5 days | — | — | — |
1 | 1 smart | — | 1 day | 1.5 days | 2 days |
2 | 2 base | 1 day | — | — | — |
2 | 1 smart, 1 normal | — | 1.5 days | 2 days | 2.5 days |
2 | 2 smart | — | 2 days | 3 days | 4 days |
3 | 2 base, 1 hard | 1.5 days | — | — | — |
3 | 1 smart, 1 base, 1 hard | — | 2 days | 2.5 days | 3 days |
3 | 2 smart, 1 hard | — | 2.5 days | 3.5 days | 4.5 days |
3 | 2 smart, 1 smart/hard | — | 3 days | 4.5 days | 6 days |
4 | 2 base, 2 hard | 2 days | — | — | — |
4 | 1 smart, 1 base, 2 hard | — | 2.5 days | 3 days | 3.5 days |
4 | 2 smart, 2 hard | — | 3 days | 4 days | 5 days |
4 | 2 smart, 1 smart/hard, 1 hard | — | 3.5 days | 5 days | 6.5 days |
4 | 2 smart, 2 smart/hard | — | 4 days | 6 days | 8 days |
5 | 2 base, 3 hard | 2.5 days | — | — | — |
5 | 1 smart, 1 base, 3 hard | — | 3 days | 3.5 days | days |
5 | 2 smart, 3 hard | — | 3.5 days | 4.5 days | 5.5 days |
5 | 2 smart, 1 smart/hard, 2 hard | — | 4 days | 5.5 days | 7 days |
5 | 2 smart, 2 smart/hard, 1 hard | — | 4.5 days | 6.5 days | 8.5 days |
5 | 2 smart, 3 smart/hard | — | 5 days | 7.5 days | 10 days |
6 | 2 base, 4 hard | 3 days | — | — | — |
6 | 1 smart, 1 base, 4 hard | — | 3.5 days | 4 days | 4.5 days |
6 | 2 smart, 4 hard | — | 4 days | 5 days | 6 days |
6 | 2 smart, 1 smart/hard, 3 hard | — | 4.5 days | 6 days | 7.5 days |
6 | 2 smart, 2 smart/hard, 2 hard | — | 5 days | 7 days | 9 days |
6 | 2 smart, 3 smart/hard, 1 hard | — | 5.5 days | 8 days | 10.5 days |
6 | 2 smart, 4 smart/hard | — | 6 days | 9 days | 12 days |
Example
Volund the smith is working on forging an axe for his jarl, and it will take him 3 days. He can spend 8 hours per day for 3 days and complete it at a leisurely pace. If he wants to pick up some basic proficiency with an axe so he can show off his axe’s balance and craftsmanship to his jarl, he could spend 4 hours per day on the axe and 4 hours per day on the training, completing the axe in 6 days. If his jarl has commanded him to complete the axe more quickly so he can impress a visiting jarl, he could attempt two Int checks (one DC 10, one DC 15) on the second day to do 16 hours’ worth of work in 8 hours and complete the axe on that day—as long as he doesn’t get distracted, botch the checks, and have to work more the next day. Finally, if he absolutely must get the axe done as soon as possible, he could try to finish the whole thing in 12 hours, making a DC 10 Int check for the first watch, a DC 15 Int check for the second watch, and a DC 20 Int check and a DC 15 Endurance check for the third watch to do three days’ worth of work in three watches and have the axe done by suppertime.